MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
March 14, 2018
7:00PM – 7:55PM EDT
A meeting of the General Membership of LSIA, a Maryland Nonprofit Corporation (“LSIA”), was held on March 14, 2018 at 7:00PM EDT in the Media Center at Lindale Elementary School.
Executive Board Members Present:
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM and Kevin Plessner recorded the minutes.
Charlie provided the Treasurer’s report. There is currently $29,476.82 in LSIA’s accounts, which is about $1,400 more than at the beginning of the year.
Kevin reported that LSIA currently has 477 household memberships.
The local police provided their report. The officer left paperwork for people who want to put a sticker on their car who do not drive it between 1-5am. If the police see the sticker, they will pull the car over between the hours of 1 and 5am. This is done to protect against vehicle theft.
A car full of teenagers recently yelled a racial slur at a girl who was walking down the street near the library. This was the only notable crime that has happened in Linthicum recently.
The police reported that they have been monitoring the suboxone clinic and the marijuana dispensary and there has been no activity. The dispensary has armed security.
A resident reported that Paradise Donuts had the glass door kicked in and shattered.
Lauren Parker from the Register of Wills for Anne Arundel County spoke to the general membership. She has worked in this position for twelve (12) years and is an elected representative.
She makes sure wills are correct and sufficient. Her staff are nice and are good at math and accounting. Their buzz words that they use in the office are “kindness” and “efficiency.”
She figures out who gets money and tries to stop arguments.
If you do not have a will, you should have one written to avoid issues with your family.
Make sure that you update your will because people mentioned in the will, and items in the will, might no longer be around. If this occurs, there will need to be interpretation that might require a hearing with the Orphans Court.
“Personal representative” means “executor” in Maryland. Make sure the person you select lives in the area and is able to handle the responsibility. You can select your attorney if you have one but many attorneys do not want to take on this responsibility.
If you have a grandchild, make sure that you have your children think about who takes care of the children in the event of a divorce.
Don’t leave too much inheritance to your latest spouse when your latest spouse is not the parent of your children. You can set up a trust to take care of your current spouse.
Don’t leave too little to your former spouse. If you get a divorce, make sure your separation agreements state that you each waive all rights to your former spouse’s will, inheritance and personal representative rights.
If you want to disinherit a former spouse, you should write in your will that you leave some small consideration such as “I leave love, affection and $100 to [enter name of former spouse].”
A contingency clause is one that states something like “I leave $50,000 to my grandson if he completes college…” However, if the grandson elects to join the military, shouldn’t they still receive the money? This example shows that contingency wills can backfire.
Trusts work in specific situations such as multiple marriages and children. Trusts are private, wills are not. Wills are public record upon your death.
Trusts only necessary in specific circumstances such as when leaving money to a charitable organization, unique family situations or care for a special needs child.
Inheritance taxes do not apply to certain close family members. For more distant family members such as nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc., inheritances are taxable.
Anyone can inherit, but taxable persons will pay a 10% “windfall” tax.
If you leave property to someone, the title that exists on the property trumps the language in the will (i.e. if you don’t have title to property, you cannot leave it to someone). A house needs to be titled in your name for you to leave it to someone. So, make sure your assets are in your name if you plan to devise them.
If you leave someone an asset who is outside of your close family, the Register of Wills will send a tax bill.
The Register of Wills has prepared a “records organizer” so that people can properly record their property for their devisees.
The Comptroller places “unclaimed property” in the Gazette. If nobody notices, it sits in the account and makes money for the state. The unclaimed assets could be insurance company assets, tax refunds, etc.
The Register of Wills will hold your will for $5 and will keep them in a vault for a lifetime. Since the 1700’s, the Register of Wills has never lost a will. The will does not need to be formal. The requirements are that it needs to (1) state it is a will; (2) have the Testator’s signature; and (3) signatures from two (2) people who are eighteen (18) years of age, stating that they signed it in the testator’s presence.
Make sure you leave any notice about funeral arrangements or pre-paid plots where someone will find them.
Make sure that you note in the will who receives your pets, other weird stuff and anything you are hiding.
The Register of Wills will help people with their questions and will answer the phone. No appointment is necessary to go into their office.
Attorneys are better but if you need to use software, use Nolo (make sure you use the Maryland edition) or LegalZoom. These software programs should only be used for people with simple family structure.
An attorney will also provide a Power of Attorney, Living Will and Last Will and Testament.
Lyn Barry is the new Assistant Manager for the Department of Public Works. She provided contact cards and a direct phone number. She recommends that you test your toilet flapper using food coloring to conserve water and potentially reduce your water bill.
Suzzie reported that the Andover Rd. meeting was an opportunity for residents to provide feedback.
Suzzie reported that we have several vacancies on the LSIA Board of Directors and are looking for members. Any who are interested should contact Kevin Plessner (Secretary of LSIA).
Dan reported details about several bills that are currently in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate regarding MAGLEV and tax issues. The tax bills are to combat issues resulting from the federal tax cuts. Dan has written about these issues and these writings are available in NextDoor Linthicum and LSIA.net. If the bills don’t get passed, Maryland tax payers will pay an additional income tax of about $1,000 on average each year.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55PM EDT.